A flight instructor is a person who helps educate and instruct individuals in the safe operation of aircraft. The flight instructor will begin working with students by teaching ground safety rules and flight basics. The flight instructor will then typically advance students through a training process that involves an understanding of flight conditions, cockpit instrumentation, take-offs, landings, and flying solo.
In almost every jurisdiction, there are certification requirements and tiers of allowed education for flight instructors. At the basic level, the instructor is attempting to teach non-pilots how to safely operate an airplane in optimal conditions. This may be with an ultimate goal for the student to obtain the most basic of flying permits or licenses. Other flight instructors work at more advanced levels, helping pilots to learn the flying skills necessary for more advanced licenses. In these advanced disciplines, the instructor teaches flying that more heavily incorporates the use of instrumentation in a way that would be required for piloting a plane in low visibility or inclement weather. At the highest level of instruction, a flight instructor may be working with experienced pilots seeking the proper certification to fly jets or other advanced commercial aircraft.
Each level of instruction normally carries its own requirements for the flight instructor. At the most basic level, however, any flight instructor must possess a commercial aviation license. In addition, certification testing is required. Most flight instructors work for dedicated flight schools, typically attached to smaller, non-international airports or flight strips. Flight instructors typically work daylight hours during the week, with some flight schools requiring weekend work as well.
Flight Instructor Tasks
Document and evaluate student progress.
Follow course schedules and syllabi.
Train students in aircraft handling in compliance with FAA safety and instructor requirements.